(contributed by Mr. F.T. Pettman)
Mr. W.J. Hocking was Deputy Superintendent of the Royal Mint, and he lived at the Mint which was situated close to Tower Bridge, London. He and his family attended the Bermondsey meeting, where he had a Bible Class of young people. When he retired he was offered a knighthood which he refused, but he accepted a C.B. The family moved down to Danbury, Essex, where he lived until the Lord took him home.
Mr. Hocking edited the Bible Treasury, (previously edited by William Kelly) for some time until this publication ceased. He edited a new magazine called the "Bible Monthly". Under the pseudonym of "Yod", he wrote a number of pamphlets for younger Christians. He also wrote some expository books on the Bible. His book "The Son of His Love" was a defence of the Lord's Eternal Sonship.
At the request of brethren at the time, he ministered quarterly at the Memorial Hall, Farringdon Street, London, for some years. These meetings preceded the later fellowship meetings at the Lloyd Jones Hall, Westminster Chapel. His addresses at the London and provincial Whitsuntide Conferences are well remembered by the older brethren. He ministered on several books of the Bible to monthly gatherings of younger brethren at the former Y.M.C.A. Hall, Farringdon Street, held on Friday evenings for some years.
Although a quiet non-controversial brother, he possessed a moral influence among the meetings of his generation, and was much appreciated and valued by all.
He lost his youngest son, Leslie, on the Somme, in the R.A.M.C. His attitude, though deeply distressed, was an example to all the Lord's people of quiet resignation to the Lord's will.
According to a letter from his son, Stanley, to the four brothers engaged in the 1978 revision of the Little Flock hymn books 1881, 1903 and 1928, Mr. Hocking single-handedly produced the 1928 revision of Mr. Kelly's 1894 edition of the Little Flock hymn book. This tremendous task affected Mr. Hocking's health.
Mr. Hocking has five hymns in 'Spiritual Songs':
194 Lord and Saviour, we remember (Suitable for the Breaking of Bread).
232 Gathered to Thy Name, Lord Jesus (Suitable for the Breaking of Bread).
305 Our God and Father unto Thee (Suitable for the Prayer Meeting).
420 Gladly let us join to sing (Suitable for Worship at any time).
462 O Gracious God, our Father, we thank Thee for Thy Word (Suitable at all
times in relation to the Scriptures).